Dotwork illustration is a style on its own. When used correctly, the shading effect is almost 3D and something that simply cannot be achieved with any other method. This shading technique is used famously within tattoo design, however, today we are focusing on handcrafted illustrations. Typically created with black ink, dotwork pieces can take anything from a few hours to a few days (and sometimes longer!) to complete.
Within this article, you will find 26 incredibly detailed dotwork projects (5 are process videos), with an array of close-ups and links to each artist’s portfolio. In order to keep this article evergreen, please comment if you have any other projects that we could add to this compilation.
Dzmitryi Kashtalyan – Guessing On A Cabbage Head (Original size: 900 х 600 mm. Ink, paper.)
Mihai Manescu – Imago Apparatus took 210 hours and contains more or less 5 million dots.
Neimen Jaidde – This book illustration titled ‘Out Of Nothing’, took 50 hours to complete.
Dzmitryi Kashtalyan – The Last Violin (Original size 700 х 500 mm. Ink, paper.)
Artem Tarasov – This piece called ‘Nothing to Obscure’ took 120 hours to complete the inking.
Diego Spezzoni – This piece titled ‘The End of the Beginning’ took 45hours to complete.
Margarita Kvaapagarrot This piece titled ‘Self-Portrait’ took 60 hours to complete.
Dzmitryi Kashtalyan – Prisoners of Time (Original size: 900 х 600 mm. Ink, paper.)
It’s great looking at the finished piece, but watching the process from beginning to end is mesmerising. Below you will some of the best dotwork process videos I could find.